sitcom. he played himself making light of a possible presidential bid. he said it was taped a few months ago. anderson, back to you. >> thanks very much. that's all we have for this edition of 360. thanks for joining us. tonight on "crossfire" the president and his obama care team are on an apology tour. >> i want to go in and fix it myself but i don't write code. >> why can some politicians admit they were wrong? >> i take full responsibility for my own actions. >> how profoundly sorry i am. >> while others can't? on the left, stephanie cutter. on the right, kevin madden. in the crossfire, rout marcus who supports obama care and grover norquist who opposes it. is apologizing shrewd politics or just sorry? tonight on "crossfire." welcome to "crossfire."
i'm kevin madden on the right. >> and i'm stephanie cutter on the left. we have two great guests in the crossfire tonight. first the president's apology. he's sorry because some americans are losing their insurance plans and their new plans are costing more. he did promise if you liked your plan you can keep it. but the way the law has unfolded doesn't live up to that promise. admittedly i've used that line, too. there's no doubt the administration oversold it. but there are some facts here that can't be ignored. we're talking about roughly 3% of americans who could be paying more, and their old plans aren't even worth the paper that they're printed on. let's not overlook the fact we have a president who can admit a wrong, apologize for it and actually fix it. it's not often in this town that you see that. and kevin, we can all learn a lesson from that. >> i would agree that. the lesson is don't mislead the american people. >> in the crossfire tonight, "washington post" columnist ruth marcus who supports obama care and anti-tax decree sadr grover norquist who's an obama care
opponent. kevin you're the guest host so why don't you ask the first question? >> so kind. ruth, isn't this an apology that is an apology of the last resort? the president, at first what he did he went out and denied there was even a problem. then he goes out and attacks his critics. and then only when there's no other options left does he apologize to the american people. >> so i think i'm going to surprise you and maybe grover and maybe stephanie and say yes, i think you're right. i am a supporter of of obama care but i do not think this has been well handled. and i think that is putting it very mildly. the president said something that he knew or should have known and probably knew wasn't exactly accurate. and that stephanie said, everybody repeated it. we're culpable in the press because we let him get away with it. if you look at the hhs was projecting back a few months after the law was passed that a
lot of people in this individual market, you're totally right, stephanie, it's a small piece of the market, we're going to lose their coverage, were not going to get grandfathered so they were going to have to buy new plans in the marketplaces. so the president knew that. his first reaction was, i didn't say it or i said it with this caveat an you all failed to hear it correctly. >> that's -- >> now it's a sort of limited apology. he's not saying he misled us. he's kind of sorry his law is working. >> we're seeing that outrage in the american public. are we really seeing enough outrage from the media? >> have you been listening to white house briefings? >> this was a bill that was sold on a false premise to the american public. >> we are talking about a very small -- for most americans they are keeping their current health care plan. and this is a better deal for the american people who have to change plans, they're getting a better deal. nothing was -- there's no deception here.
the bottom line is that it was a talk point that got out of control. there was a rule and regulation that we passed right after obama care was signed into law that was heavily covered by the media and debated by republicans. there was a heavy conversation. there was legislation to try to overturn it. that if you had a health care plan before march 3rd, 2010 you could keep it. if you had a health care plan after that it would be subject to change. but those are details. i totally understand that this has gotten out of control and gotten away from the president. but grover, the president's apology is more than we've gotten in the past from some presidents. some presidents don't know how to apologize. i want you to watch this. >> your words. no one was more sickened or angry than i was when we didn't find weapons of mass destruction. you still have a sickening feeling when you think about it. >> i do. i do. >> was there ever any consideration of apologizing to the american people? >> i mean, apologizing would basically say the decision was a
wrong decision. and i don't believe it was the wrong decision. >> so let's give credit where credit due. the president apologized. that's something that other presidents weren't able to do. and he's committed to fixing it. even though you oppose the law and are a critic of the president can you at least give him credit for that? >> i'm not sure i heard an apology. he lied to the american people again and again and again. the whole way this works was to force people -- he says these plans weren't any good, they were sub par. that's not his job. the american people decide -- >> that's the law that was passed. >> okay. but the point was, the american people should be able to decide what kind of car they want, what kind of insurance they want, what services they want to buy. he doesn't get to come in. >> he does, grover, that's the law. >> yes, it's a law which he passed which was a lie from what he said. >> it was upheld by the supreme court. >> okay, it was passed all with democrat votes. let's remember here, who cares whether the president lied in this case? he's fibbed on a whole bunch of things.
he got elected saying he wouldn't raise taxes on anyone in any way who earned less than $250,000 a year. it took him six days to break that promise and did it eight times in obama care. he's not apologized for that lie which he ran millions of dollars worth of ads about. he's not in the business of telling the truth when he needs. to second he hasn't agreed to fix this. the republicans have put forward legislation to fix this. he said no no i'll change it the way i want to not the way the american people want it. >> let's talk about the legislation that's on the table to fix it. it actually doesn't fix the problem, it goes beyond the problem. it basically allows anybody to buy a plan that is a raw deal. plans that won't be there when they get sick. >> that they want. >> that's the difference between democrats and republicans. you choose and you do what you want. other people want to run their lives for me. >> i think the analogy you make you get to buy any car you want is exactly right. that's not precisely true. you may disagree with it but the government says cars need to meet certain fuel mileage standards, certain safety standards. they have to have air bags in them, seat belts.
we don't want to get into a discussion like that >> yes, we do. because 2,000 people were killed because of that. the government as own statistics. >> as with other safety standards and other standards for accurate reporting, consumer protection, minimum coverage, so stephanie is exactly right. so these insurance plans are real insurance plans that provide people with a minimum set of benefits -- >> set by the state. set by the state. >> set by congress. >> my father was a mechanic, right? when a car's transmission was broken, we didn't -- >> i knew i shouldn't have brought up a car thing. >> we didn't pour a quart of oil into the engine to see if it would work. we knew it was fundamentally broken. obama care is fundamentally broken. >> in what way? >> don't you think it's time right now we scrap the whole law, start over and start reforming the right way? >> no. no. absolutely not.
>> of course for the. that's why the apology doesn't work. >> you want to pour a quart of oil into the engine. >> i leave the mechanical stuff to others in my family. >> you used the analogy. >> here's the thing. is the web site fundamentally broken? yes. was the rollout a debacle? yes. >> that's just part of the law. >> has the administration failed to anticipate the grandfathering is not very effective, they are not included? yes. but where is the fundamental failure there? many people will get insurance that are better insurance, that costs them less with subsidies than they would have had absent obama care. >> i'll let you jump in. >> two things. you can judge it by reality whether it's what the american people would choose to do on their own if they weren't pushed around and told what to do or you can do it by the president's own words. he said he wouldn't raise
anyone's taxes unless they made at least $250,000 a year. there are eight taxes that directly hit the middle class, including up the one that wasn't a tax when he put it in the supreme court said he did. >> don't you want health care in texas? >> health care is a massive tax increase. he said premium dollars would drop they are going up in many cases. >> many cases they're going down. health care costs -- most of them are getting a subsidy. >> from somebody else. from taxes. >> i do want to remind you this is a law passed by congress. >> by democrats. one republican in louisiana voted for it. >> unfortunately, republicans politically chose not to support this even though it was based largely on republican ideas. it was upheld by the supreme court. >> no. romney did this in massachusetts. >> it was held together by the supreme court because it was a tax. >> every single republican voted against it. and they all support it now. >> there is a lot of daylight on what is in this law.
there is nothing secret going on here. the american people -- >> 3,000 pages. they promised they'd put it up for everybody to look at before it was voted on. that was the first line. >> we're going to take a break. kevin over here thinks the president should be spending more time negotiating with republicans. when we get back, i'll remind him that there's actually no one to negotiate with. customer erin swenson ordered shoes from us online but they didn't fit. customer's not happy, i'm not happy. sales go down, i'm not happy. merch comes back, i'm not happy. use ups. they make returns easy. unhappy customer becomes happy customer. then, repeat customer. easy returns, i'm happy. repeat customers, i'm happy. sales go up, i'm happy. i ordered another pair. i'm happy. (both) i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. happy happy. i love logistics.
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welcome back. i'm kevin madden, guest hosting on the right. in the crossfire tonight, ruth marcus and grover norquist. president obama's apology for the mess he's made on health care is just the latest example of him thinking he can just talk his way out of a problem. are for his claim he's willing to work with republicans, well, i'll believe it when i see it. it's an empty promise, yet it's one he keeps making over and
over. >> as i've said many times before, i'm willing to work with anyone on any idea who's actually willing to make this law perform better. >> this is pure pageantry. who exactly does he intend to work with? as for this president's relations with members of congress, he either doesn't have them, or if he does they're horribly strained. that's just with the democrats. ruth, aren't these overturs by the president hollow? i mean, if he hasn't done this for over the last five years, what's to believe -- what's anybody to believe he's going to do it now? >> hollow or futile is the question. i think you make a fair point that the president has strained relations with the hill, with democrats as well as republicans. it's a fair point that he has not put enough effort into building those personal relationships. what's not a fair point is the notion that he has somebody to work with or had somebody to
work with all along. think about it. one of the reasons that it took so long to get obama care passed is that the administration dithered and twiddled its thumbs so others could come out with a plan. in the health care area and other budget negotiations. the president has made over turs to republicans that other members of his party have just rebelled at. >> well, on this particular issue though, ron johnson has a bill. do you think he's going to call ron johnson and work with him? today we saw reports he's only going to huddle with democrats. >> i want to throw your question back at you. i think that's a good thing in media training. >> that's crossfire. >> where has been the republican willingness to tweak, fix, save, improve obama care as opposed to simply repeal it?
until there is some willingness to do that it's hard to imagine a common ground to meet on other than hi i'm here i'm president obama i surrender. >> who exactly the president would be negotiating with. let's take a look. >> do you like green eggs and ham? i do not like them, sam i am. i do not like green eggs and ham. >> 46 votes to defund, derail or repeal obama care. hundreds of amicus briefs. who exactly wants to work with the president to improve this law? >> well, six laws were passed that the president signed. republican laws which took out some of the worst parts of obama care. >> the president has worked with republicans? >> he has on a number of these ideas. so the idea the president will only sign bills that make obama care worse and worse isn't true. he's actually in six cases taken republican ideas, the senate's passed it. there'll be a couple more of those because the democrats have put themselves in a very difficult position.
obama care is not a complete failure. it won the republicans the house in 2010. it's going to win them the senate in 2014. not too many pieces of legislation have done that much good for the american people. since clinton raised taxes unilaterally in '93. >> let's talk about political implications of this. there are millions of people being denied coverage because decisions that republicans are making. >> because of the law. because of obama's law. >> take a look at the map. >> governors who don't care about their poor citizens. >> look at those red states. those are all states where republican governors and republican legislatures are refusing to implement medicaid. >> implement? expand. explain to people how much they steal from the american people in federal taxes when the governor gets to say i'm going to spend some money. what's the ratio of federal money that comes in. >> how much do we pay because people don't have health care and they show up at the emergency room. that's $1,000 on your premium, grover. it's actually costing you.
that's a tax on you. >> the costs is astronomical. >> why are nom republicans implementing it, then? many republicans are implementing it. >> not many. >> about half of states are not implementing it. >> yes. >> governor christie, governor casick. >> casick had a challenge. had to do it outside the legislative arena because he didn't have support. it's a massive tax and spending increase at the local level. that the president and democrats are doing as well. the president wanted to shove it down everyone' throat and not give it a chance. that's what the supreme court said was unconstitutional. in your view why you're asking why the republicans are not doing the constitutional thing the supreme court said. >> you're right, grover. >> of course. >> but there's a caveat.
republican governors do have a choice, the supreme court gave them the choice. it's to take what to me looks like a terrific bargain -- >> if federal funds were free. >> get additional coverage paid for by the federal government. >> for how long? >> for three years. >> an then? >> a significant amount to be continue to be paid for by the federal government to cover the near poorest citizens in their state. the poorest are already covered by medicaid. this would bump up to 133% of the poverty level. you call that stealing from taxpayers? i call it basic common decency. >> where do you get the money from it? you take it from taxpayers. why do you always leave out -- >> that's what we have taxes for, grover. we have taxes in order to fulfill the essential role of government. >> like sugar subsidies. very important. >> we agree on sugar subsidies. you see the role of government as a little defense i know you want to put in the bathtub and strangle. i see the essential role of government as broader including
protecting its most vulnerable citizens. do you want to get rid of all medicaid? yes or no. >> no. step one. >> do you want to get rid of all of medicaid? >> the next step in terms of reforming medicare is the ryan plan. that's on the table. block granting it to the states. >> ruth, do you think one of the reasons the president is apologizing right now is because he knows that there is worse news to come down the road? when is it that we're going to actually see somebody say that six months from now that if this isn't working that something big has to be done rather than just taking little tiny steps to put band aids on a lot of obama care's problems? >> we're not putting a band-aid on the web site problem. we are doing triage and surgery. >> at what point do you self-reflect and say we have a problem? >> we have a problem with the web site. i'm not you all. but there is a political problem, not necessarily a substantive problem but a political problem with the number of people who are being told their insurance is canceled
and who don't yet know what their access will be. >> that's not a political problem for people that are getting their health insurance. >> we don't know how they will end up because most of them will end up in a better situation than they were before with inadequate insurance. >> ruth, who gets to decide whether they're in a better situation? the individual or the government? >> the state. >> if you were buying a product that you like and now government says you can't because this one is better for you -- >> we're going to have to go back to the car. just as governor romney and the massachusetts legislature you knew i was going to go there, kevin, decided in massachusetts. >> massachusetts was a state plan, ruth. 6 million people. not 330 million people. >> size may matter for getting this thing rolled out. but in terms of imposing a package of minimum benefits, you know that romney care and obama care are precisely the same model. >> wait a second. both bad ideas. both bad ideas passed by a
legislature 80% democrat in massachusetts. >> well, it's actually almost universal coverage. costs are going down. i think romney care is actually working. >> state by state. >> stay here. we're going to ceasefire next believe it or not. is there anything that the two of you can agree on? we also want you at hope to weigh in on today's fire back question. did the president's apology matter to you? tweet yes or no using #crossfire. we'll have the results after the break. we're new to town.ells. welcome to monroe. so you can move more effortlessly... we want to open a new account: checking and savings. well we can help with that. we tend to do a lot of banking online. you play? yeah discover a mobile app that lets you bank more freely... and feel at home more quickly. chase. so you can.
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is there anything that you two can agree on sunny think i'm going to regret this. >> who agrees first? >> you first. >> okay. i think that grover and i agree that, well, the obvious. everybody agrees on this, that the rollout of the web site has been botched. but even more, that the administration's handling of these cancellations has been botched and that the president's nonapology apology has been less than a fullsome apology. >> i think we may be able to agree that this is also going to be a lot more decided in november of 2014 than up until then. i mean, the country's going to have a vote and a decision on obama care, not as it was promised, not as it was misrepresented, but as it actually happens. and then we'll have a vote in november as to whether they like it. >> and that's a fair point. but i think one of the really important points is november 2014, that's a long way away.
we won't be taking snapshots of the 3 1/2 people who managed to sign up today but how they're feeling about it late next year. >> a year goes quick. >> it does go quick. but i also think over the next year it's going to shine a spotlight on republicans to see, one, what their ideas are. because they don't have any ideas to cover. >> that's not fair. but i think we should ask republicans what they want. >> number two, whether they are committed to fixing this versus just political grandstanding because that's all we've seen so far. >> one of the big problems for your side of this is the president's political capital is almost all gone. he's going into a year next year where he's going to need a lot an he doesn't have any. i think that's a big problem. >> he doesn't have political capital. he also has a bunch of democrats in the house and senate who have different interests than his interests. because their interest is -- >> there's going to be a canyon between them. >> i think we need to see how this plays out before we start predicting what senate democrats do. >> i've got my prediction.
>> you're an expert. >> i am. having spent some time with you over the last two years absolutely. >> senate democrats are already moving. not towards the president. >> thanks to ruth marcus and grover norquist. go to facebook or twitter to weigh in on our fire back question. did the president's apology matter to you? right now 23% say yes, 77% say no. the debate continues online at cnn.com/crossfire as well as facebook and twitter. we also want to congratulate newt gingrich on the publication of his new book "breakout." from the left i'm stephanie cutter. >> from the right i'm kevin madden. i'm rachel nichols. welcome to "unguarded" a sports show that explores the issues that extend off the field to touch us all. this week we'll bring you some fascinating perspectives on the miami dolphins. and i'll also be talking to tiger woods in a rare, candid interview. welcome.